The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield

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This essay is written by Liesanne den Hollander
On the date of 4 October 2011

This short story, written by Mansfield, tells us about Laura, who is a girl belonging to the upper class, about her garden party, and about the death of a workers man. Since Mansfield’s father was a successful businessman , she also belonged to the upper class. Therefore, it is prominent that Laura and Mansfield seem to share the same opinion about class differences; which is that everybody should be treated equally. Furthermore, the implied author in this narrative shows some similarities with the real author, this is for the main reason that they both do not like the narrowness of class differences.

From the author we logically move on to the implied reader. The implied reader is the ideal reader of a text, which means it has certain opinions that are conform to the text. However, there can be multiple sorts of readers in ‘The Garden Party’. The ideal reader is the one sharing the opinions of Laura. These views are mainly related to class differences, but also to life and death. Another reader is the resistant reader, who does not agree with Laura’s opinion and probably thinks the way classes are treated is just fine. The events in this narrative take place in a chronological order, which means that there is no real mismatch between the narrative content and form. Also, something interesting in this narrative is the use of inter clausal connectives. A. Rodrigue suggests this supports the cohesion of the narrative. When this text is read it gives the impression that a cultural code is required; which, in this case, involves knowledge about class differences. Furthermore, another feature in this narrative is the ending. It has an open and partly unresolved ending . This type of ending is characteristic for modernist narratives. This narrative starts with a voice, the focaliser, which draws the scene for us. After a while this focaliser shifts; first to the gardener, then...
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